Per Google’s findings, there are still over five billion people in the world without a smartphone. But the search giant’s Android One program is going to change that, starting with the release of three new smartphones in India.
For the unaware, Android One is Google’s initiative to provide smartphones of high quality without the expensive price. The company does this by providing reference designs that partner manufacturers can use to mass-produce affordable devices. These devices will then run on a pure Android experience (akin to the Nexus phones, but at an even cheaper price range), and their updates will be pushed by Google itself for the latest features and security fixes.
Jump-starting the Android One project are three new smartphones in India: the Karbonn Sparkle V, Spice Dream Uno and Micromax Canvas A1. They’re all 4.5-inch smartphones with a quad-core MediaTek processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. All three are powered by Android KitKat, but they will also be the first to receive Android L when it releases. These smartphones also feature dual SIM capability, FM radio tuner, and microSD card storage expansion. As with other phones with a pure Android experience, Google apps and services are preinstalled.
But that’s India. What do Google and its Android One program have in store for the Philippines? The short answer is we’re part of the program. But there’s nothing to else say beyond the fact that the Android One is expanding to our shore by the end of the year. No official partners among local smartphone brands have been announced. But given that Google’s program partners such as Acer, Altcatel OneTouch, Asus, HTC, and Lenovo have a presence here in the Philippines, we might be seeing some Android One-powered smartphones from them in the coming months. That’s all speculation, though, but I’m keeping my hopes up.